Ok let’s get something straight. I do not personally know LeBron James, but I live in Northeastern Ohio and have had the pleasure of watching one of the greatest basketball players on the planet.
I followed his stellar high school career right into the NBA. I had season tickets during his first stop in Cleveland and I hit the Pause button on watching any professional basketball when he left for Miami. I barely watched a minute of any NBA game after his departure. I am anxious to hit the Play button and resume following the Cavs. Thank you LeBron for coming home, but this is not really about your return to Cleveland, the NBA, or the possibility that the Cavs might win a championship.
No, this is much bigger for me on a very personal level.
For the majority of my 63 years, I have been carrying a mental list of people that I have held grudges against. It was not a long list but came with serious baggage. Those grudges had a significant amount of weight attached to them and the longer I carried them the heavier they got.
For example, I am a financial advisor and a number of years ago, I had a friend / client who I went to college with who abruptly left me and moved to another financial consultant.
This happens. It is a free world and sometimes it is just time to make a change. I get that. I have many clients who have switched from other agents to me. This case was
different because it was a long-time friend and he refused to give me any reason for his decision. My response to his departure was to form and hold a grudge. I made it a point to avoid and ignore him every chance that I got, not the most mature response on my part, but that was the way it was.
Back to LeBron and the evening that he showcased his move to the Miami Heat on national television, I never faulted him for leaving. After all, he simply exercised his NBA freedom of choice, which allowed him to become a free agent. That being said, I hated the way he made his decision so public. Shortly after LeBron’s departure Cavs owner, Dan
Gilbert, wrote a scathing letter in which he predicted great things for the Cavs and failure for LeBron. He posted his response on-line. Bad blood would have been a gross understatement of how this played out. Contrary to Dan Gilbert’s letter, LeBron won two championships and the Cavs were awful.
So that is why I was stunned when I read the LeBron announcement on the Sports Illustrated website that he was returning home to play for the Cavs. Like most of Northeast Ohio, I was thrilled to have the King return.
I reread LeBron’s letter numerous times. One line really hit home, “Who am I to hold a grudge?” In the Sports Illustrated letter, LeBron states that he met face-to-face, man-to-man with Dan Gilbert and they cleared their differences. That line resonated. I could not put my finger on it until I attended a social function and found my self seated next to my aforementioned ex-friend/ client. My first thought upon discovering that we were seated next to each other was to bolt and call it a night. I had zero intention of sitting in my assigned seat. In fact I was moving towards the door when LeBron’s letter flashed into my mind and landed on the line “Who am I to hold a grudge?” I determined enough was enough and I did an about-face and headed for my seat. Being 100% honest, it was not nirvana, but it went way better than I had expected. My ex-client and I won’t be exchanging Christmas cards but I am good with that. I had no interest in rekindling our friendship; I just wanted to coexist for one evening. To my total surprise, I left the event feeling like a totally different person.
It was as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders! I felt great letting go of my grudge and I am quite sure I fell asleep that evening with a smile on my face.
What a wonderful and totally unexpected lesson.
Moving forward I adopted my new philosophy of “Who am I to hold a grudge?” I call it The Gospel of LeBron and have made it a part of my daily life. I am happy to say that my grudge list is shrinking and my goal is to eliminate it totally.
So thank you, LeBron James and Dan Gilbert for helping me overcome my lifelong problem. May you win a championship together!
Read more posts by Gary Sirak here. Gary is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire.
The post is presented by the National Publicist, Annie Jennings of the NYC based PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR. Annie Jennings PR specializes in marketing books for getting authors booked on radio talk show interviews, TV shows in major online and in high circulation magazines and newspapers. Annie also works with speaker and experts to build up powerful platforms of credibility and influence.